West Coast Labor Disputes

Relations between members of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union and waterfront employers on the U.S. West Coast have heated up over the past couple years, with protests and other actions in the Pacific Northwest and at ports in California.

The two parties are currently in negotiations for a new contract to replace the one slated to expire on June 30, 2014. For our continuing coverage of the negotiations, visit our ILWU Labor Negotiations page.

News & Analysis

Ships at berth at the Port of Long Beach, such as the one pictured, are able to plug into shore-supplied power, which is known as cold-ironing, as part of the port's pollution reduction efforts.
25 Aug 2016
The congestion that crippled West Coast ports in 2015 temporarily derailed the progress in reducing pollution at the Port of Long Beach.
03 Jan 2015
The year 2014 ended much the way it played out throughout the year in Asia to U.S. spot container rates. Rates declined following an upward spurt triggered by a rate increase. And rates to the U.S. East Coast declined by much less than rates to the West Coast and are up significantly versus a year ago, reflecting continuing demand for services that avoid the West Coast and especially Southern California.
03 Jan 2015
The Pacific Maritime Association on Friday answered a public relations blitz by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union by releasing statistics that show that over the past two months the union has reduced by two-thirds the number of skilled equipment operators being dispatched each day at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
02 Jan 2015
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association enter the weekend at a standoff at Los Angeles-Long Beach as employers plan to reduce the number of longshore crews that will be assigned to work vessels on the night shifts, a move the union says will significantly increase the number of days it takes to work vessels.
02 Jan 2015
U.S. manufacturing growth slowed in December with continuing delays at West Coast ports being cited as a contributing factor, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
01 Jan 2015
The Pacific Maritime Association launched a game of brinksmanship on New Year’s Eve, notifying the International Longshore and Warehouse Union at Los Angeles-Long Beach that beginning Friday, employers on night shifts will dispatch only one longshore crew to work each vessel, rather than three as has been the norm.

Commentary

Contract extension talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association must address productivity issues in a serious way so US West Coast ports get somewhere remotely close to the efficiency at other major ports in the world. 

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